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National Assembly wades into Army, FCT peoples’ feud

National Assembly

The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi), has assured the indigenous peoples of FCT that the National Assembly would investigate their allegations of land grabbing against the Nigerian Army, and ensure that democracy and justice prevail.

Melaye stated this in Abuja on Tuesday while addressing protesters from the FCT, who barricaded the entrance to the National Assembly and vowed not to vacate until the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, addressed them.

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Melaye, who came in company of Senator Philip Gyunka (APC, Nasarawa), told the protesters that they were delegated by the Senate President to assure them that the Senate had received their petition over alleged gruesome murder of their peoples and forceful takeover of their land by the Nigerian Army.

He assured them that the lawmakers had begun thorough investigation into all the grievances and allegations contained in their petition, assuring that “democracy and justice shall prevail in the end.”

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“We received your petition over the alleged gruesome murder of some of your people and the forceful takeover of your land by the Nigerian Army.

“The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asked us to tell you that the Senate will meet your leaders by 2:00pm today. We will investigate all your grievances and allegations,” Senator Melaye assured the angry protesters.

According to the lawmakers, the Senate had condemned, in totality, every alleged act of terror by the Army and other security agencies, adding that the “security of lives of every Nigerian” remains the key agenda of the National Assembly.

Earlier, leaders of the indigenous peoples of the FCT, Ezekiel Musa and Adamu Ishaku, had told the lawmakers that they were protesting because the Nigerian Army had forcefully encroached into their lands since 2016, and had gruesomely killed a number of their own people.

The protesters, carrying placards with inscriptions, “Shame to Buratai,” among others, said despite repeated efforts, the government and other stakeholders had refused to do justice to their grievances.

“This is about the fourth time we are protesting since 2016 over the injustice done to us by the Nigerian Army, but no attempt to address it. As we speak, the Army is on our lands with their bulldozers.

“Why can’t there be an FCT commission, like in the North East and Niger Delta, to address the plights of the indigenous peoples of the FCT, whose lands and means of livelihood had been taken over by force. Do they want us to carry arms,” the protesters queried.

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